Queen Elizabeth II passed away on Thursday, 8 September, and set off a sequence of tradition unknown for most of her subjects’ lives.
The Queen passed away at Balmoral Castle, after a series of up and down illnesses. There was short notice that this was the final down, and her children all had to be flown in at the last moment. But most of the plans regarding what would happen next had been laid in years and in some cases centuries ago.
Immediately, her son Charles III was made king, although his coronation will be in several weeks.
Her body was laid in state first in Balmoral, for the family alone, and then taken by train to Edinburgh to lay in St. Giles Cathedral. On Tuesday, her coffin was taken by a glass-walled hearse to Edinburgh Airport, and a Royal Air Force aircraft took it to London, where she was then brought to Buckingham Palace.
On Wednesday, the coffin was transported by parade from the Palace to Parliament, with the royal family, including the new king, walking behind. In Parliament, the archbishop of Canterbury performed a short service as she was placed in Westminster Hall, the resting place of monarchs for over 400 years. She will lie there in state for four days, until the morning of September 19th, her funeral. In Westminster, the public will be allowed to pay their respects, under strict military guard.
Between the death of Queen Elizabeth II and her funeral, the new king is kept very busy. He is visiting the heads of state in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, has addressed the nation and the commonwealth, and will lead a national moment of silence on Sunday, September 18th. He also made his first address as king to Parliament. All while in mourning for his mother.
The passing of Queen Elizabeth II marks the end of the longest reign of any modern monarch, just over 70 years.